Although fluoride was once considered an essential nutrient, the U.S. National Research Council has since removed this designation due to the lack of studies showing it is essential for human growth, though still considering fluoride a "beneficial element" due to its positive impact on oral health. The U.S. specifies the optimal level of fluoride to range from 0.7 to 1.2 mg/L (milligrams per liter, equivalent to parts per million), depending on the average maximum daily air temperature; the optimal level is lower in warmer climates, where people drink more water, and is higher in cooler climates The U.S. standard, adopted in 1962, is not appropriate for all parts of the world and is based on assumptions that have become obsolete with the rise of air conditioning and increased use of soft drinks, processed food, and other sources of fluorides. In 1994 a World Health Organization expert committee on fluoride use stated that 1.0 mg/L should be an absolute upper bound, even in cold climates, and that 0.5 mg/L may be an appropriate lower limit A 2007 Australian systematic review recommended a range from 0.6 to 1.1 mg/L.
A 2000 systematic review found that water fluoridation was statistically associated with a decreased proportion of children with cavities (the median of mean decreases was 14.6%, the range -5 to 64%), and with a decrease in decayed, missing, and filled primary teeth (the median of mean decreases was 2.25 teeth, the range 0.5–4.4 teeth), which is roughly equivalent to preventing 40% of cavities. The review found that the evidence was of moderate quality: many studies did not attempt to reduce observer bias, control for confounding factors, report variance measures, or use appropriate analysis. Although no major differences between natural and artificial fluoridation were apparent, the evidence was inadequate to reach a conclusion about any differences. Fluoride also prevents cavities in adults of all ages. There are fewer studies in adults however, and the design of water fluoridation studies in adults is inferior to that of studies of self- or clinically applied fluoride. A 2007 meta-analysis found that water fluoridation prevented an estimated 27% of cavities in adults (95% confidence interval [CI] 19–34%), about the same fraction as prevented by exposure to any delivery method of fluoride (29% average, 95% CI: 16–42%). A 2002 systematic review found strong evidence that water fluoridation is effective at reducing overall tooth decay in communities.
Fluoride's adverse effects depend on total fluoride dosage from all sources. At the commonly recommended dosage, the only clear adverse effect is dental fluorosis, which can alter the appearance of children's teeth during tooth development; this is mostly mild and is unlikely to represent any real effect on aesthetic appearance or on public health. The critical period of exposure is between ages one and four years, with the risk ending around age eight.
Fluorosis can be prevented by monitoring all sources of fluoride, with fluoridated water directly or indirectly responsible for an estimated 40% of risk and other sources, notably toothpaste, responsible for the remaining 60%.. Compared to water naturally fluoridated at 0.4 mg/L, fluoridation to 1 mg/L is estimated to cause additional fluorosis in one of every 6 people (95% CI 4–21 people), and to cause additional fluorosis of aesthetic concern in one of every 22 people (95% CI 13.6–8 people). Here, aesthetic concern is a term used in a standardized scale based on what adolescents would find unacceptable, as measured by a 1996 study of British 14-year-olds In many industrialized countries the prevalence of fluorosis is increasing even in unfluoridated communities, mostly because of fluoride from swallowed toothpaste. A 2009 systematic review indicated that fluorosis is associated with consumption of infant formula or of water added to reconstitute the formula, that the evidence was distorted by publication bias, and that the evidence that the formula's fluoride caused the fluorosis was weak.. In the U.S. the decline in tooth decay was accompanied by increased fluorosis in both fluoridated and unfluoridated communities; accordingly, fluoride has been reduced in various ways worldwide in infant formulas, children's toothpaste, water, and fluoride-supplement schedules
Cite this article:
Manish Upadhyay. Depleting Groundwater Levels and Increasing Fluoride Concentration in Villages of Surajpur District, Chhattisgarh, India: Cost to Economy and Health. Research J. Science and Tech. 2012; 4(3): 122-128.